Wednesday, January 2, 2013

21 Ways to Be Happy Right Now!

Unlike popular belief, happiness does not just happen. We all have moments when we feel the euphoria of being happy and wish it could last. But invariably, something happens to shatter that feeling of happiness leaving us feeling depressed, frustrated and unhappy. The happy – unhappy cycle starts all over again as we look for the next thing that will make us happy only to be disappointed when it doesn’t happen. The cycle continues as we try to create or influence the right circumstances to be at peace, to find fulfillment and to be happy. You don’t need to wait for the right scenario or circumstances to be happy, you can be happy right now no matter what.
Happiness does not depend on your genetics as some people think nor does it depend on your circumstances. Happiness is created from the inside-out. You don’t need to wait for Mr. Right to be happy. You don’t need the next promotion, the next job, the nice car or even to be recognized for your accomplishments to be happy. While those things are all good and worthy of your attention, you can be happy even if none of that comes true. Your happiness will be found on the inside. Happiness does not just happen when the circumstances are right; you can actually learn how to be happy. You can make happiness happen! Here are 21 things you can do to be happy right now.

  1. Change your mind:  No circumstance or situation has meaning in and of itself. It only has the meaning we give it. That meaning is created in our mind and governs our perception. To change life’s experience we need only change our mind to give positive meaning to each encounter and experience. You can change your mind by saying, “I am willing to see this differently,” and then seek a positive way to look at it. 
  2. Stop trying to impress: No one person is more important than another. Sure, there are those that have accomplished more, but that does not make them more important than you. You are equals. When you truly sense your equality with all people you no longer feel the need to impress. You are impressive just as you are.
  3. Live in real time: Are you burdened by the past? Are you worrying about the future? Right now is all that is real. If you give life to the past you energize the past and it can rob you of the chance to be happy in real time. Stressing about the future will create worry, fear, and anxiety over what is to come. Release yourself of the past and worry over the future by living in real time. Living in real time brings real happiness.
  4. Have a gratitude attitude: Abundance begins with training yourself to see how much you have to be grateful for. Regardless of your circumstances you have something to be thankful for. Find that one thing, be grateful for it and let that gratitude fill your being. You will then have your eyes opened to all that you can and should be grateful for. As you develop gratitude, your problems and worry dissolve and you will be happy.
  5. Don’t compare: True success and achievement is not about being better than someone else it is about being better today than you were yesterday. Comparing yourself to anyone is self-defeating. Comparing is a veiled form of judgment and only serves to create competition and contention which are barriers to you being happy.
  6. Perform appropriate service: When we provide service we turn our inward focus outward. This opens up room for more blessings of peace and harmony within us. But be sure to give with the right intention and to give appropriate service. Appropriate service is giving without resentment or feeling obligated.
  7. Forgive: You cannot give what you don’t already have. Forgiving yourself enables you to forgive others. Forgiving even the smallest of offenses lifts a burden off your shoulders that allows you to feel love and peace in abundance. This empowers you to be happy.
  8. Know thyself: You are who God created. You are who you are suppose to be and all that has happened to you has created the greatest of God’s creations – YOU! By knowing your divine nature you are able to connect with the universe in ways that will dissolve adversity and negativity leaving you with happiness.
  9. Cut some slack: When we give someone the benefit of the doubt we are being emotionally generous. This emotional generosity will dissolve contention and allow you to see someone’s innocence instead of their guilt. The act of cutting slack is a great gift that is rewarded by happiness.
  10. Underreact: Underreacting is the opposite of freaking out. Learning to Underreact allows you to have a more appropriate response to any situation. There are so few things that are really urgent or require a split second decision. Take some time to consider alternatives by choosing to underreact to any situation.
  11. Choose to forget: Our thoughts are the source of our pain and emotion not the events that we consider painful. You can choose to selectively forget the offenses of others and relieve your mind of pain and negative emotion. Say to yourself, “I choose to forget,” until you no longer remember what you were upset about or the offenses of others. You will be amazed and the peace you will feel by forgetting.
  12. Be curious:  We all encounter difficult people we have to deal with on a regular basis. One way to take contention and blame out of a situation and restore peace is to become curious about the other person and the circumstance itself. This allows you to have an open mind and understand before you try to be understood. Being curious creates positive emotions that in turn will lead to being happy.
  13. Be kind: Kindness is the universal antidote to unhappiness. If you are feeling down, lonely, hurt or distraught. Be kind to anyone and everyone you encounter. A light will begin to shine in your life and your burdens will become lighter and your own problems will shrink in size and intensity.
  14. Find beauty in all things: There is beauty all around us and yet we are all so busy that we don’t see it. To see that beauty once again will open your eyes to the wonder of the universe and the earth you live on. As you experience beauty you will feel as one and in harmony with the universe. Take a moment to see the beauty around you. Do it at least once a day and you will feel healthier and happier.
  15. Expect abundance: Abundance is yours. Don’t chase it – expect it. Just as you expect and trust that the sun will rise each day, expect and trust that abundance is yours each day. This expectation will cause you to look for it and I promise you will find it. As you find abundance it will grow as you acknowledge it.
  16. Laugh: It is said that laughter is the best medicine and it is true. Laughter will relieve anxiety, shame, guilt, depression, and fear. Whether it is a joke, a story of just learning to take ourselves less seriously, laughing is like emotional fitness training – it will stimulate your senses and create positive feelings. Find something to laugh about each day.
  17. Don’t let your possessions posses you:  Our possessions possess us not the other way around. When we attach ourselves to material things it deadens our ability to be happy because we are so concerned about what we have that we cannot determine who we are. Your possessions only have the meaning you give them. Appreciate them for what they are but beware of their ability to possess you and rob you of happiness.
  18. Be partially blind: We have all heard the phrase, “love is blind.” And it is true! When we fall in love the euphoria we feel prevents us from seeing the faults and inadequacies of the person we love. That blindness is a key to being happy by allowing you to see only the positive traits in others. We don’t need to worry ourselves so much with other people’s faults and inadequacies. Fault finding does more damage to you than the other person. Give it up by allowing yourself to be partially blind to the faults of others and you will be amazed at the positive feelings you have.
  19. Love: Love is the magic potion of happiness. Love is not merely affection or physical attraction like many think. Love is energy. An energy that can heal any situation and remove fear, hate, contention and anger. Try to extend loving energy to any encounter and you will transform the situation into a positive experience dissolving all negativity empowering you to be happy.
  20. Re-“shape” adversity: It is so easy to be a victim. So easy to blame everything and everyone for what happens to you. Your adversity can become your greatest teacher by shaping it into a positive instead of a negative. Instead of asking why is this happening TO me? Ask, why is this happening FOR me? As you do, you will grow and become more than you were before.
  21. Like what you do: We all have to do things we don’t want to do. If we focus on what we don’t want to do we create negative forces that will rob us of positive feelings and happiness. When you make being happy a priority then you learn to like what you do by focusing on the positive aspects. Even if it is something you don’t want to do you will grow from the experience and that growth is a positive thing. Dwell on the positive and let go of the negative emotion that prevents you from being happy.

You don’t have to do all of these to be happy right now. Choose one to do today and pay attention to how good you feel. Do it again tomorrow or pick another one to work on. As you do, you will find that you are leaning to be happy no matter what! You are making happiness happen.

Kirk Wilkinson is the Founder and President of The Happiness Factor, a best-selling author, two-time cancer survivor, speaker and life coach. The Happiness and Factor and the Fresh Start for Women Foundation have partnered to bring you a powerful and uplifting on-line coaching program. Click here to learn more.

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